Bedwyr Williams’ new exhibition ‘The Starry Messenger’ is in about its fourth reincarnation at Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery. Encompassing a crazy ensemble of works from small to HUGE there’s no escaping Bedwyr has an other-worldly objective in mind. At first you might not sense there’s something a little quirky, a little daring out there, but there’s no mistaking by the time you hear the old man wailing you know something strange is going on.
It’s apparent there’s a mystical quality to the exhibition, from the starry blinds you walk through at the entrances and the bright-white exterior of the astronomical home observatory to the specially selected starry vintage wallpapers from the Whitworth collection. His drawings give you a glimpse into his inner-workings (rocket machines!) and the large foam-shaped ‘seats’ allude to meteorological rock shapes.
Going through to the second room is like entering the night sky with twinkling lights on the wall and a cosmic river with lit-up stones forming a milky way. The shadows cast from the mammoth-sized table looks like a home-made constellation of bit and pieces (or chunks and chips) from his own home. Towards the screen at the other end of the room, your eyes make out the massive pillars which confront you and more of the foam-shaped rock shapes. The film, also titled ‘The Starry Messenger’ features a crackers dentist covered in mosaics who I would never want to work on my teeth, before he loses himself in a pile of rocks… very Mighty Boosh and very surreal!
This exhibition was first shown as the Welsh offering in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 and it’s great to have such a crazy (perhaps Bedwyr was a little delirious from all the anaesthetic!!!) exhibition on at the Whitworth.
On Thursday 3rd December there will be an evening of performance with Bedwyr Williams giving a special performance. For more information see their website…
Until 10th January 2016
Whitworth Art Gallery